TECHNICS SL-1200/1210 – a hi-fi turntable? – Pt 1

Encouraged by the success of the TECHNICS SP-10MKII that I have been playing with, I thought it would be a good idea to try out the humble TECHNICS SL-1200/1210.

We have 2 of these ex-DJ ‘work-horse’, direct-drive SL-1210MKIIs in the house.

The choice of cartridge falls to a venerable Ortofon VMS20E MkII moving magnet (which I’ve owned since the 70s) – Ortofon say that the popular VMS20E MkII is “probably one of Ortofon’s most highly acclaimed magnetic cartridges“. Continue reading

Consider Connectors

“God is in the detail” – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (et al)

Sometimes it’s necessary to re-examine the little things, the forgotten details.  Try to dig out the last 10% improvement.

Consider amplifier and loudspeaker connectors.

We know that music signals are alternating current, AC not DC – swinging positive/negative.  We know also that “current in a conductor resides at the surface at high frequency” (Prof. Malcolm Hawksford, HFNRR Aug 1985): Continue reading

Kenwood L-07D tonearm

This extraordinary tonearm was fitted to the Kenwood L-07D turntable, the legendary flagship Direct Drive turntable manufactured by Kenwood from 1979-83.

This was the halcyon decade or so, when Japanese hi-fi was at a peak of industrial and electronic design and engineering.

Those were the days when analogue hi-fi was at a high point, with many Japanese companies participating and leading the innovation.  Sadly, some of those great names no longer exist – eg. Fidelity Research, Sansui, Stax, Supex, Coral, Grace, Micro Seiki,…. Continue reading

TECHNICS SP-10MkII turntable – Pt 2

The Technics SP-10MkII turntable’s platter (yellow) is 2.9kg cast aluminium and is screw-fixed down onto the sub-platter rotor of the Direct Drive motor.

A ring magnet (red) is attached to the inside of the rotor.  The motor stator coils are fixed onto the motor bearing base below (green).  This bearing base is also cast aluminium and is attached to the turntable top chassis frame (green), with 4 small M4 screws.

If you examine the Technics SP-10 in detail like this, you can see that there are things that can be improved for potentially better performance. Continue reading

TECHNICS SP-10MkII turntable – Pt 1

The Technics SP-10 Direct Drive turntable was manufactured by Matshushita from 1970.  It had 33/45/78rpm speeds and superb technical specifications for speed accuracy and stability, wow and flutter and rumble.

The MKII / MK2 version was manufactured from around 1975 I believe, until at least 1987.

The SP-10 was supplied as a motor unit without tonearm/s, for studio or commercial use.  Continue reading